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Big Ten Power Rankings — Week 6

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Penn State climbs in the rankings while Maryland and Michigan State fall.

NCAA Football: Brigham Young at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

1. Ohio State (5-0)

For really the first time all season, the Buckeyes didn’t fire on all cylinders, as they kind of struggled in a 38-17 victory over Indiana. Ohio State now will go on the road for the next two weeks, facing both Wisconsin and Penn State in primetime. A slip up is definitely possible.

2. Michigan (6-0)

Wow.

3. Wisconsin (4-1)

The Badgers were off as they prepare for their showdown with the Buckeyes.

4. Nebraska (5-0)

The Cornhuskers had a bye as well. They’ll be back in action next Saturday when they travel to Indiana in what looks like might be Nebraska’s toughest opponent thus far.

5. Penn State (4-2)

After getting shellacked in Ann Arbor, the Nittany Lions have bounced back nicely with back-to-back wins over Minnesota and Maryland. They’ll have a much needed bye week next Saturday before hosting Ohio State in two weeks.

6. Indiana (3-2)

Despite giving up 38 points, the Hoosiers defense looks pretty legit, a first for a Kevin Wilson coached Indiana squad.

7. Northwestern (2-3)

The Wildcats were off this week. Sparty is up next for Pat Fitzgerald and company.

8. Iowa (4-2)

In the most Big Ten game ever, Iowa was able to knock off Minnesota for a 14-7 road victory. A win is a win, but it was another unimpressive performance from the Hawkeyes.

9. Maryland (4-1)

After starting the season 4-0, the Terrapins were brought back to Earth on Saturday, falling to Penn State 38-14. Still, there’s a decent possibility that Maryland could get to six wins and make a bowl game. The health of quarterback Perry Hills is in question, though.

10. Minnesota (3-2)

The Golden Gophers dropped their second game in a row, losing to Iowa 14-7. Knowing that Iowa has struggled to stop the run, Minnesota’s decision to throw the ball 33 times doesn’t make a ton of sense.

11. Michigan State (2-3)

Coming into the season, I was thinking that the Spartans were going to be secretly bad this year. I was wrong because it’s no secret — Michigan State is bad. With definite losses to Ohio State and Michigan, the Spartans will need to go 4-1 against Northwestern, Maryland, Illinois, Rutgers, and Penn State to just make a bowl game. Rough times in East Lansing.

12. Purdue (3-2)

The Boilermakers picked up a 34-31 victory over Illinois. When Purdue wins, we all win.

13. Illinois (1-4)

This isn’t news to anybody, but Lovie Smith has himself a quite the rebuilding job ahead.

14. Rutgers (2-4)

The Scarlet Knights have been outscored 136-0 in the last two games. That’s all that needs to be said.